AMC Merges Studio and Networks Group, David Madden Stepping Down

Sarah Barnett - David Madden-Publicity-Split-H 2018
Courtesy of AMC

Entertainment Networks Group president Sarah Barnett assumes leadership of the studio in the integration.

Sarah Barnett continues to add more to her AMC Networks portfolio. The cable company announced Wednesday that it will integrate its AMC Studios into Barnett’s Entertainment Networks Group portfolio.

As part of the reorganization, David Madden has announced he is stepping down as president of programming after almost two years with AMC.

“We are already seeing the benefits of our entertainment networks working more closely together,” Barnett said in a statement. “The next logical strategic step is to integrate AMC Studios into this same group, so that the people making our celebrated series are more closely coordinated with the marketing, scheduling and publicity teams who connect our shows to passionate fans. We believe this new structure best positions our nimble organization for success in an increasingly competitive environment. I thank David for being a wonderful and consummate executive and for the creative leadership he brought to the team. He is enormously respected and admired both by his colleagues across the company and the talented people who make our shows. He will be missed.”

AMC’s in-house studio, which famously launched with The Walking Dead, also produces such network series as Fear the Walking Dead, The Terror, Lodge 49 and NOS4A2. Current output for AMC Studios stands at nearly a dozen series, all of which air across the AMC Networks portfolio of AMC, BBC America, SundanceTV, IFC and AMC Premiere.

Madden joined AMC from Fox in 2017, initially serving as the de facto head of original programming at AMC and AMC Studios. In 2018, he added BBC America and Sundance TV to his purview in the plan to centralize operations in the wake of Charlie Collier’s departure and Barnett inheriting oversight of all entertainment networks.

“I’m proud of the work the programming team and I have done growing and nurturing our existing shows like The Walking Dead, Better Call Saul, Killing Eve, Lodge 49 and others, while also finding fresh new voices and shows like NOS4A2, a new season of The Terror, the forthcoming Dispatches From Elsewhere, a third series in The Walking Dead universe and a slate of strong new series in development,” said Madden. “I’m ready to move on and focus on new opportunities in the rapidly expanding content space, leaving the current programming and studio operations in good hands and positioned well for the future.”

Madden is expected to stay on until the end of August. The search is now beginning for a new president of programming to work under Barnett for Entertainment Networks Group.

AMC Networks has upped its original output in recent years but continues to take a more subdued approach to Peak TV, at least in comparison to its competition. Scripted fare continues to perform especially well among critics, with both AMC’s Better Call Saul and BBC America’s Killing Eve recently scoring big among the 2019 Emmy nominations. There are a total of 25 noms for projects across the portfolio.